SEATTLE – One swing by Mariners pinch-hitter Adam Lind erased a masterful performance by White Sox ace Chris Sale, who could only watch from the dugout.
Lind hit a three-run homer off closer David Robertson in the ninth inning to give Seattle an improbable 4-3 comeback victory on Monday night and hand Chicago its fifth consecutive loss.
Seattle, which had managed just one hit in eight innings off Sale, rallied against Robertson (0-2), who had recorded 13 straight save opportunities.
Franklin Gutierrez singled to open the ninth, but was forced out at second on Robinson Cano’s fielder’s choice. Nelson Cruz walked and Dae-Ho Lee struck out.
Kyle Seager followed with an RBI single to center to make it 3-1. Lind pinch-hit for Chris Iannetta and hammered an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right-center for his 14th home run.
“I knew I hit it well and I hit it true, with the backspin,” Lind said. “But no, to answer your question, I didn’t know if I had enough, but it carried out.”
Sale, bidding to become the first 15-game winner in the majors, allowed just a first-inning single en route to eight scoreless innings.
“He did what an ace does,” Robertson said. “He went eight innings, didn’t give up any runs, and I went in there and just blew it. I pitched poorly. I gave up hits, I walked guys and I didn’t get the job done. It’s pathetic on my part. “
“It was supposed to be a cutter away,” he said. “It just ended up right down the middle and he put it in the seats.”
Tim Anderson and Todd Frazier homered to account for all of the runs for the White Sox, who were outscored 16-1 in being swept three games over the weekend by the Angels.
Sale gave up a one-out single in the first to Gutierrez, who was erased on a double play. Sale walked Leonys Martin in the third and then did not allow another runner until tiring in the seventh.
Sale hit Gutierrez and Lee with pitches in the seventh, but escaped by striking out Seager to end the inning.
Iannetta walked to open the eighth, but also was doubled up. Sean O’Malley then walked, but Sale enticed Daniel Robertson into an inning-ending force out.
“I think in the last couple of innings, hitting a couple of guys, walking the leadoff guy . he ended up getting out of it, but I thought he had done his job at that point,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Sale, tied for the A.L. lead with three complete games, struck out six and walked one before being lifted after 100 pitches.
“Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yeah. I get it,” Sale said about being removed. “I understand where they’re coming from. It’s a long season. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. So maybe I go out there and my pitch count gets over 120 and then . you never know, so it is what it is and you move on.”
David Rollins (1-0) pitched the ninth inning for his first career win, despite allowing two hits.
“Chris Sale was Chris Sale tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He was very, very good. Probably as good as we’ve seen all year. We hit some balls OK, not a lot of luck. But we were able to get something going in the ninth inning. Great job to hang in there. It’s really easy to give up and say, `Ah, this isn’t our night,’ and move on. But we don’t do that, this club doesn’t do that. We had the right guy in the right spot and he got a good pitch, and he didn’t miss it.”
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